Comfrey Growing Guide

Symphytum officinale


Crop Rotation Group



Any average, well drained soil.


Partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Extremely cold hardy perennials, comfrey plants become dormant in winter and re-emerge every spring.


Not generally needed.


Comfrey is a large plant that tends to crowd out its neighbours.


Single Plants: 60cm (1' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 60cm (1' 11") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start seeds indoors or sow them where you want them to grow, or start with a purchased plant. New growth emerges in mid-spring, followed by flowers that attract pollinators in early summer.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Comfrey is a fine source of greens for composting or for using as a mulch around nutrient-hungry plants. When the large plants are cut back in summer, old branches are quickly replaced by a fresh flush of foliage.


Roots to be used to make medicinal ointments or skin creams can be harvested at any time, but preferably in early winter. Gather greens for composting in early summer and again in autumn. For medicinal use topical preparations made from comfrey roots are traditionally used to promote healing of sprains and broken bones by increasing circulation to the affected area. However it should not be taken internally as comfrey contains compounds that may harm the liver.


Comfrey has few problems with pests or diseases.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Comfrey